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August 14, 2018

Reading Lately

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Last month I was in the middle of switching jobs and I've just begun a one month vacation between jobs so I've had a lot of reading time. I love it. I needed it. I read like I did as a teen and in my early twenties before my job took over my life.

It also could be that I finally bit the bullet on getting a brand new kindle paperwhite. For years I've been using the OG Kindle Fire (literally years - since like 2011). Its so much more portable than the massive Fire so I'm totes happy with it, even if it isn't in colour. How cute is the case I bought for it too? Loves.

Pink case for kindle paper white

I hit the reading jackpot this month. I read so many great ones from a whole mix of genres as is typical for me. Non-fiction, historical fiction, romance, suspense, YA, mystery and adult fiction are all here. I love mixing it up and rarely ever read two of the same genre in a row. Anyway, here is what I read this past month:
Loved it:

review of one of us is lying
One of us is lying - Karen McManus

I was seeing this book everywhere. Literally everyone was talking about it! So with an extreme case of FOMO kicking in, I took a break from reading Liane Moriarty's the Last Anniversary to read this (very unlike me to stop a book midway). It was so good! I lapped it up in less than a day. I’m not a YA lover but the suspense of this book just grabbed me and I simply couldn’t put it down. I did figure out the twist(s), for the most part, pretty early on (I usually do - I blame being a practising attorney on this. Im always fishing for clues) but I doubted myself at some points and really it wasn't obvious what was happening until my initial thoughts were confirmed at the very end. In my view, that’s the sign of a well written suspense novel. It  captured me, kept me reading and wasn’t cookie cutter YA.   Would definitely recommend.
Goodreads link here


The Lake House - Kate Morton

So I've owned the hard copy of this book for a while and even posted it on Instagram way back in June of last year. I started reading it in about September and then wedding planning had me in a frenzy and this, along other long reads got shelved. I picked it back up this month and started it over. Its over 600 pages long so if you like audiobooks maybe consider it (I can't focus with audiobooks so I rarely if ever listen to them - wish I could).
Although it is very wordy and information packed and took me too long to complete, I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of the period books I read during my English degree. I liked how Morton transitioned between the early 1900's and 2003, which could have easily been choppy, but works. As a former English major I knew pretty early on that even if the storyline was not my cup of tea, this book would have high rating because it is well written, well thought out and well put together. A solid 4.5. I'd obviously recommend.
Goodreads link here


My real name is Hanna - Tara Lynn Masih
(recieved by Netgalley for an honest review)

This is probably my favourite book of the month. Its loosely based on a true story too which always gets me. Its a historical fiction - WW2 era. Ive read so many WW2 novels and they all begin to mould into one. Not this one. Its told as a first hand account of a Jew living in Ukraine when the Germans took over from the Russians who took over from the Polish. Its raw and real but has YA undertones so basically anyone can enjoy it. The way its told is so real and powerful but written in a way that doesn't feel too intense. I never had to put down the book, walk away and come back (Like I did with the Lake House above).
I really enjoyed this one and can't recommend enough.
Goodreads link here



Liked it:
The Last Anniversary - Liane Moriarty.

I didn't hate this book. For the most part I quite enjoyed it, but there were just some things that made it a more tedious read than it probably could have been.
For one, there were just so many characters and stories going on - way too many cooks in the kitchen. And secondly, in my opinion, the book just went on and on and on for far too long causing me to get impatient at points - but I'm a notoriously impatient reader. Still, the story is a good one and in classic Moriarty fashion, the characters were each very well developed and the scenes couldn't have been better set. I felt like I knew each character goodby the end of it and like I knew exactly what Squiggly Gum island, where most of the book takes place, was like. The big secret was easy to figure out but still revealed in an intriguing way.  Would I recommend? Yes, but with the caveat that its a bit drawn out and that you should probably read another Moriarty first.
Goodreads link here


The Wife Between us - Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

So, this book. The blurb says that the reader should not assume anything about who we think we're reading about. I then made assumptions and figured out the first major twist maybe a few chapters in - way before it was revealed (without saying too much, Ill say - the parallels were kind of obvious). I actually figured out most of the twists except for the one revealed in the Epilogue which actually got an "oh. ok.". Don't get me wrong, I liked this book ... but I guess it just wasn't as thrilling as I expected it to be? Maybe because I was told not to assume and then assumed against what I was told not to assume and figured it all out? Maybe as an attorney nothing really surprises me. I dunno. I was a tad underwhelmed and definitely wasn't gripping my seat.
Now, that doesn't take away from the fact that it was well written. I devoured it in one day and kept giving Danny updates as to when I got a plot point right. It was still a good read. I'd recommend it with the caveat that its more of a mystery than thriller.
Goodreads link here

Falling for London - Sean Mallen
(received from Netgalley for honest review)

This book isn't yet published but is available for pre-order. When I first requested and got it I didn't realise it was a non-fiction. I like travel novels and always request one or two so that's what I expected. It wasn't though. Its the memoir of a Canadian journalist who moved to London on assignment. I love memoirs so that didn't necessarily deter me from reading it but I just wish I knew beforehand. Also, the cover just didn't match the story and Im not sure why that bugs me so much (probably why I didn't think it was non-fiction also). Anyway, it does not read like a non-fiction. Its hilarious and well-written (the guy is a journalist after all) and could have well been the fictional story of a man, his nagging wife and daughter trying to find their way in London a new city .. except it was their real life. I recommend although I really wish/hope he'd change the cover before publishing. #coversnob
Goodreads link here

Four Last First Dates - Kate O'Keeffe
(received from Netgalley for an honest review)

If you're looking for an easy romance /cutesy drama that you can read in a few hours (if that much), then this is for you. It was cheesy and read like a YA when the characters were in their 30's but man I enjoyed it. Maybe because I read it right after I read the Lake House when I just wanted an easy read, but whatever it was it worked. I like cheesy romances anyway. If that's not your cup of tea, skip this one.
PS. I should note that its the last of a series but read well as a stand alone. I didn't read the first three of the series and I'm not sure I will since I read the last one first but I will certainly keep reading Kate O'Keeffe.
Goodreads link here





Runaway Princess Bride - Lenora Worth
(received from Netgalley for an honest review)


Nothing groundbreaking in this one. I probably won't remember what happened in it three books from now. But, its an easy, sweet, quick, sometimes melodramatic romance (just the way I like them), and cheesy-in-a-good-way romance. 

It read good as a stand lone but is a part of the "Castle" series by this author. I enjoyed it.
Goodreads link here
Not her daughter - Rea Frey 
(received from Netgalley for an honest review)

I wasn't sure where to place this novel honestly so I put it here. Ill start with saying it has extremely great reviews on Goodreads and that if you like a good kidnapping story you'll probably enjoy it. There are parts I enjoyed and parts that the lawyer in me found quite absurd. Its told from two perspectives - the perspective of a young businesswoman who kidnaps a young girl who is being abused and the perspective of the mother who really didn't want the young girl. Its tugs at your moral strings, or its supposed to. For me ... I see some issues as black and white though because of what I do which meant that I was annoyed a lot throughout the book and couldn't suspend my belief enough to make it realistic. The ending was also just ... unrealistic. Still, the writing was good and I didn't hate the book so ultimately I dropped it in the "like" category. Also its good for a debut novel.
Goodreads link here


Not my vibe:
The Shape of you - Georgia Beers
(received from Netgalley for an honest review)

I really wanted to like this book. I love me a good romance. Romance is one of my fave genres so its hard for me to dislike one. This one dealt with some big issues: e.g. LGBT, the controversial infidelity in a romance story, etc. It had the opportunity to really be a good or at least intense romance. I was looking forward to it. But man ... this was almost painful. Half way through I looked at Danny and said "I don't know if I can finish this book" and if you know me you know I always finish the book - no matter how bad. Half the text took place in a gym, the relationships were all surface, forced, contrived and perhaps even worse for a romance - lacked chemistry. The main characters were unlikeable, so very weak,  sometimes stereotypical and just boring and the conversations were so so simple. It just all felt so simple. It read like a missed opportunity to be a great novel. Harsh I know.
So, I was given a free copy for an honest review and my honest review is skip it. 
Goodreads link here


All in all I read some pretty awesome books this month. There are some months with lots of misses and some months you just eat all the books up because they're so good - it was that kind of month. Except for that last one. That book was just awful. 

Up Next:
Because I'm a self admitted long time sufferer of the FOMO epidemic (when it comes to books), this is up next ...

Pre-ordered for 99 cents early last week so its on the Kindle ready to rock and roll

PS. In last months post I called my Goodreads page a 'dead zone'. And for years it was. I was the worst at logging books. I'm not exactly sure what happened (maybe its all this free time I have or the fact that my new Kindle syncs with Goodreads) but this past month I opened up Goodreads and then fell down the rabbit hole. I logged every book I read this month and check it consistently. Like all the time. I'm totally going to keep up with it from now on (although lets be honest, I'm not going back to even attempt to log the books Ive read in the last couple years - if they pop up ill mark them read but Im not trying to remember all of that). All this to say add me - I love seeing what people are reading through the week!

Have you read any of these? Let me know. Linking up with Steph and Jana

Have a great day guys!!

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